King Commute

I’ve been sat on my backside now for thirteen LifeCycle days, thirteen days when I could have ridden if I’d been mad enough to, had it not been for the op. But already those thirteen days feel like thirty. Even though it’s only been a fortnight, it already seems like I’ve been away for a month. No, hang on, that’s what I’ve still got left to go….

In reality, things are going okay. I’ve been signed back on to resume work, albeit that I’m lucky because work means logging onto my laptop and doing exactly, as in everything, that I normally do, but from home instead of the office. No bike miles means four extra hours a day for doing non-productive things. I have to say that there’s a certain satisfaction in getting up at quarter to seven, making a coffee and taking it back to bed for half an hour before finally rising from the nest in time to boot up the laptop and make another coffee in time for a seven thirty start. Commute? What commute? That’ll be the fifteen second walk from the bedroom to the dining room.

Now in order to get a sense of what it would be like if I got back on the bike tomorrow (which I’m not going to do, by the way), I had a quick look back to a blog I wrote this time last year. No Regrets featured the following paragraph which (only) now begins to make some real sense:

“In the week, I re-read “Into The Groove”, a piece I wrote before going back to work at New Year. Looking back, that was a period of great trepidation: two weeks off the bike, two weeks of not getting up at the back of five, indeed two weeks of getting up in daylight, and suddenly there I was being thrust back into the deep cold of winter. In all honesty I really didn’t fancy it and I know I didn’t fancy it”.

That’s where I am today. That’s exactly where I am. Two weeks off the bike and two weeks of getting up in daylight. The only difference is that I’ve still got another few weeks of something similar before a harsh dose of reality returns to my daily routine. Am I missing the bike? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I’m watching all these potential miles slipping away far into the distance, but no in the sense that I’m getting a proper rest for the first time in seven years (why seven years – read last week’s story…).

Now, back to those thirteen days: the day after my operation was a wild affair and I might well have missed out in any case. All of the following week (that was last week), Stewarton was blanketed in snow which meant for sure that the Fenwick Muir would have been a no go area for a wannabe biker. And on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, we got more of the white stuff, which is still lying, so of those thirteen days, I would hazard a rough guess and say that I would have ridden on about three of them. That’s only a hundred and twenty miles. That’s all I’m down after two weeks. And with the forecast for next week already suggesting that the snow might still be here next Friday, there’s every chance that I might still be down by less than two hundred after three weeks. So there was me thinking that I was certain to lose a thousand miles over the piece and now it looks like it’s going to be only half of that. That’s what I call a result. A big result!

And what of the injury? Well I still can’t sit upright comfortably for any length of time but it’s better than it was this time last week. That’s progress. But once I’m back on two wheels, the angle will be more acute than an upright ninety degrees so there’s still some way to go yet. I was told at the time of the operation that the strength of the repair comes entirely from the scar tissue, not from the netting that’s pinned to my abdomen so as long as I avoid bursting the stitches by falling over, time will once again be the great healer that it’s often cracked up to be. While the ice remains outside, I’m staying inside…

It’s a shame however, that I can’t say the same about my bad arm. Remember that was the injury I suffered when I fell off back in October, and even after two weeks of bumming around the house, it shows no sign of easing up. I’m actually starting to question whether I’ve been using it more simply because I’m in the house. Whatever the reason, I’ve made a conscious decision to be become as one handed as I can for the next four weeks in the hope of some relief by the time I get back on the bike. I certainly don’t fancy the remaining 13,000 miles with pain running down the outside the top end of my left arm, which is where I’ve been for last three months.

One of the things that’s helped to keep me sane these last two weeks, well two things actually, are the cats. We have two, Fluffers and Dennis. Dennis likes Fluffers in much the same way as he likes most felines, but his feelings towards her are not reciprocated. I’d go so far as to say that she hates him. So being in the house 24×7 and observing the two of them going about their daily routine has been quite amusing. Dennis is a lap cat but only on his terms. We call it furry trouser time as both Dennis and I have a liking for fleecy joggies. I wear them and he curls up on them. Fluffers, on the other hand, has never been nor is ever likely to be a lap cat. Her job in life is merely to look pretty, bring us sticks in the dead of night and play paintbrush. She excels on all counts. The only time she meows is when she’s brought us a stick. 3am and loud: great! Anyone reading this who has cats, or who is even remotely a cat person, will understand when I say that I fill the seven hours when I’m the sole occupant of the house by constantly holding a one sided conversation. “Dennis, what do you think of the price of eggs”… You get where I’m coming from I’m sure.

And so to next week…

Now that I’m back working, life has a structure again. At least that’s a start. And by Wednesday I’ll be halfway through my six week suspension (that’s how it feels) and able to count down the days to when I’ll be back out on the road. Those six weeks take me through to the last week in February so I’m hopeful that before March kicks in, I’ll be out there bagging miles again, even if it means parking the motor out of Stewarton to avoid the vicious climbs before dawn. And before I sign off, another thing: when I went off for my operation, sunset was around half four. When I come back, it’s going to be twenty to six. That’s an awesome time shift. In a way I’m sorry to be missing the time creep (at two minutes a day) because I remember blogging about it last year. But no, really, when I come back, spring will have sprung: big time.

It does actually feel like I’m living a 28 hour day right now because I’m skipping four hours in the saddle but in reality, this is a really good way of earning a living: fall out of bed and engage forward brain…

A King Commute.

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